May 22, 2024

Highlights from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

 Highlights from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Friday, 4 February

The second day of the festival opened with the Official Ceremony; a smorgasbord of the best of the Emirates LitFest.

In the presence of HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HE Noura Al Kaabi, Mohammed Al Murr and many more esteemed guests and authors, the celebration of the festival theme, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ began with a very personal and emotional story about finding light after darkness from Sasha Bates.

This was followed beautifully by a poetry and music collaboration with Danabelle Gutierrez and Emirati soul singer Arqam. Ashraf Al Ashmawi, Salma Serry, Amal Al Sahlawi, and Ben Miller also added their unique tributes to the theme. Festival director Ahlam Bolooki encouraged visitors to explore all that the programme has to offer, and the event ended with a beautiful performance of This is Our Time, by the Dubai Youth Choir and Repton School Choir. 

Key Highlights:

David Walliams once again proved to be a big crowd-pleaser in his first sold-out session of the weekend. The popular comedian and children’s book author dazzled his young fans with jokes and fun tales as he celebrated the 10th anniversary of one of his most iconic characters and her return in a recently released sequel: Gangsta Granny Strikes Back!

Author Alka Joshi transported fans back to Jaipur in the 1970s as she discussed the sequel to her soon-to-be-adapted bestseller (and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick) The Henna Artist

A gripping session featuring Toshikazu Kawaguchi who discussed his international bestseller Before the Coffee Gets Cold and which part of his own life he’d travel back in time to! 

The day will end with Ken Arto (Demon Slayer) in conversation with fellow animator and anime fan Fadel AlMheiri (Castaway) as they share their influences and offer career advice, as well as a powerhouse performance from Instagram-famous poet Nikita Gill which will focus on ‘Maidens, Myths, and Monsters.’ 

Coming Up Tomorrow:

Voices of Future Generations, the unique writing initiative for children supported by Goodwill Ambassador, is launching its anthology of winning stories at 9:30 in the Habtoor Palace ballroom.

The 10 winners of the First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship will be announced and paired with their star author mentors at 11:30 in the Habtoor Palace ballroom.

At 15:00, the winners of the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize will be announced in a session about the path to publication – an unmissable conversation for any aspiring writers.

Actor, comedian and children’s book author Ben Miller will be thrilling audiences of all ages as he talks about his latest book, How I Became A Dog Called Midnight — tickets are still available! 

Author Brit Bennett will stream in virtually to talk about her acclaimed bestseller The Vanishing Half and why it’s themes of race, family, the lingering effects of history have resonated with audiences so much.